Friday, May 29, 2015

President Aquino ready to meet with senators but will not back down on merits of BBL

From the Website of MILF

President Aquino ready to meet with senators but will not back down on merits of BBL

In a report by Philstar on May 26, it quoted President Benigno Aquino saying that he is ready to meet with senators to discuss the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law but will not back down on its merits and constitutionality while at the same hinting it should not be used for election purposes.

“We understand there are a lot of opportunities to call attention especially with the upcoming elections next year. But a sober discussion and coordination (and) scrutiny of BBL, I suppose will make them see that it will withstand the test of constitutionality,” Aquino said.

President Aquino told reporters that he was waiting for the signal from Senate President Franklin Drilon as to when he could talk to the senators regarding the BBL.

“Of course, there is a part of me that wants to talk to them. I don’t want them to think I am meddling because they are an independent body,” he said.

“So we need to balance and the only thing I can say is if they really want to talk to me… if they invite me to give an opinion in a meeting, why are we not going to do it?” Aquino said.

Aquino noted opinions that the provisions of the draft BBL would entail Charter change but also pointed out that the advertisements from members of the Constitutional Commission (ConCom), who crafted the Constitution, support the BBL because it was adherent to the Charter.

“Many times when the lawyers argue (they say) read the book on ConCom debates. Here we don’t need to read the book because the living members of the ConCom themselves are the ones who are saying and explaining the constitutionality of the BBL,” Aquino said.

The President said that as he told members of the House of Representatives when he met with them on the BBL, they could go scrutinize it to bits and pieces but they should see its importance in bringing peace and development in Mindanao.

“In English they call it nickel and dime me to death. Now I also told them, a problem that is not addressed or not given any solution does not become small but has the potential to become bigger,” the President said.
Aquino said decreasing the opportunity to come up with a new formula to achieve peace in Mindanao would not contribute to the country’s growth.

“The new mode of governance there... should not wait until January... because come March, it’s election ban already, they cannot do anything anymore,” Aquino said.

The President said this was the reason why he was pushing for the lawmakers to amend whatever needed amending in the BBL and present it to the people after its passage.

Aquino said they should also have sufficient time to explain why the system the administration was proposing would be better.